Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Pinstripe Bowl has already made BC a winner

We all want BC to beat Penn State, but the Pinstripe Bowl is already a huge positive for BC. By selling out our full ticket allotment and the game selling out quickly BC can finally start to change our travel reputation. Technically BC sold our ticket allotment for the 2007 Champs Bowl, but I know for that game we gave some tickets away to local charities and Catholic churches. There was no need to give tickets away this time around. In fact, BC had to use a priority system on tickets for the first time in a bowl game.

I assume most of the success is due to location. We are playing relatively close to campus and in the middle of a huge alumni population. However, future bowl organizers don't need to know that. We can spin the demand for this game in multiple ways: "BC will sell out a bowl game when we face a team from a major conference", or "We will sell out our tickets when we travel to a desirable destination" or "Addazio has changed the culture of BC Football." All of that is completely subjective, but it makes sense to a bowl organizer. 

The Pinstripe is truly excited to have us. They were one of the first bowls to sell out this year. Even before we take the field, we have done enough that they will select us in the future. But this is about more than the Pinstripe. We need to turn this success into future bowl opportunities. 

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NESN to host Pinstripe preview Sunday night

BC is making a big deal out of the Pinstripe Bowl and we are not alone. The media is paying more attention than normal. This Sunday night at 10:30 BC play-by-play man Jon Meterparel will host a Pinstripe Bowl preview on NESN. It will be a good time to get caught up on the bowl and get BC-specific original content on local TV. If you're outside of the region but have a sports package, you should still be able to watch it on NESN.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Does BC need to publicly extend Addazio?

With big names like Mullen and Miles removing themselves from the Michigan search, it seems like the Wolverines are narrowing in on someone. The consensus is now Harbaugh or bust and guys like Schiano and Addazio are fall back/emergency candidates. I remain convinced that Addazio is not getting the job, regardless of his loyalty or happiness. But the coaching carousel and Addazio's success does raise a question: should BC publicly extend his contract?

Coaches are competitive. It is the nature of the job. Even for guys who don't need it, money becomes another way to keep score. Think of how many guys have requirements that they make $1 more than other coaches in their conference. But coaches are also like us. When things are going well, we want signs that we are appreciated. Signs that our boss respects what we've done. Two years into a tenure is a typical time to look at a college contract. Spaz got an extension after two years. Jags was in the midst of negotiating one when the showdown with Gene occurred. Rewarding Addazio now makes sense. It is an acknowledgement of two years of overachieving and a message to recruits and the staff that there is stability at BC.

But extending Addazio has a few drawbacks. BC is essentially negotiating against itself. Michigan -- even with heavy speculation -- remains a longshot. While we have healthy revenue for football, we still could use Addazio's potential raise towards infrastructure projects like the practice facility or continued Alumni renovations.

Brad Bates isn't coming to me for advice, but I think BC should give Addazio a small raise and a few more seasons on his contract. BC should wait until the smoke clears on Michigan and the bowl game and then make the announcement. The announcement would reaffirm BC stability to recruits and its future under its passionate coach.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

What to do during the recruiting Dead Period

This year's recruiting Dead Period started Monday December 15. For a recruiting focused staff, that might seem like a hindrance or maybe even an excuse to stop thinking about recruiting for two weeks. Not for Addazio. They will certainly use this week for bowl prep, but they are also still doing plenty of recruiting work.

1. Find 5th years. You can't reach out to players on other teams, but you can do homework. The obvious targets are guys the coaches have worked with before (Florida, UConn, etc.). However, as the Addazio staff spends more time at BC, there are fewer candidates at those schools. You can also look at rosters at schools where there have been coaching changes. Players at those programs might rather roll the dice with Addazio than deal with whatever the new guy is selling at their current program. Our coaches can also talk to high school coaches and hear about former players they coached who might be unhappy at their current college.

2. Find poachable verbals. This is similar to finding 5th years, only the staff is looking at commitments at places like Michigan, Nebraska, etc. At places like Nebraska, the new staff is already talking to the verbals, but that doesn't mean all the guys will be on board. Any potential target needs to get a call the day the dead period ends.

3. Find a couple more under the radar guys. The coaches cannot talk to recruits, but they can certainly watch video. Find the late bloomers. Find the guys who are still new to football. Find the good players who just fell through the cracks. There are still plenty of guys who dreamed of playing big time football. During this dead period they are going to think there dream is slipping away. If BC comes with an offer after the dead period, the guys will be thrilled.

Addazio's first full class produced a lot of immediate impact players. This class looks strong but we cannot let up -- even during a dead period.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hoops handles Binghamton

Nothing makes a slump easier to handle than playing and beating bad teams. BC didn't look crisp Sunday, but they did enough to defeat Binghamton. It is the type of cushion win that will help perception. The key for Christian is also using it to help the guys get better. Here are some other thoughts.

-- The team can beat bad teams without Hanlan. Olivier had another sub par game and yet BC won. I am not worried yet. His shots weren't falling and he seemed a bit sluggish. Christian wisely rested him. I still think he can have a huge season and will explode in the coming weeks.
-- Batten's leadership. Batten's got good energy and plays with a confidence that can help when others aren't making their shots. He wasn't particularly efficient, but helped BC control tempo.
-- Finally healthy. Lonnie played. Odio played. Neither got big minutes, but at least it gives Christian more options. If Jackson regains his touch, I think he will become the first guy off the bench.

BC now takes a week off before hosting USC. This game wasn't pretty but it sends them into the break with a little more momentum. USC will be more of a test, but with a week to prepare and regroup, I think the team will be ready for the Trojans. 

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hockey crushes Michigan (back on track?)

The first half of the season raised a bunch of questions. A big win Saturday night against Michigan gives hope that maybe the growing pains are behind them. The scoring burst was key, but don't overlook Demko. He saved 41 shots. It was his career best. The team is off now through the holidays. That might blunt the momentum of tonight, but this shows they can be dominant.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Tweets of the Week


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thoughts on the Maine win

In the final minutes of the ESPN3 broadcast, Malcolm Huckaby talked about how style points against Maine don't count. The team won. But that doesn't make it less frustrating. But if you're going to sleep walk through a game, doing it against Maine and holding on to win is better than losing. Here are some other thoughts:

-- Having trouble with the weave!! I know Christian put a lot of emphasis on defense, but there were still too many breakdowns and open shots. Later you could here the guys calling out the switches (in part because Conte was so empty). I am glad they are communicating, but that doesn't excuse the open shots.
-- A big night from Clifford. He scored a career high and played nearly 30 minutes. I just wish his D was a little better.
-- Finding a rotation. It seems like Christian is going to let the best players play close to 30 minutes. The only bench guys that got real run were Magarity and Owens. I don't know what happens once Jackson and Odio are back, but for now playing the starters is our best chance to win. These guys haven't played four years together, so giving them big minutes now will hopefully pay off come ACC season.

Hanlan had an off night but the other guys filled in for him. I won't worry about his recent inconsistency until it proves to be an issue against lesser teams.

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